Monday, February 20, 2006Ten: Bedridden and helpless
I looked at the flowers all in different colours, orange meaning I miss you, yellow as friendship, though I heard that for Middle Eastern people they considered that as bad luck. Of course I didn’t want that, and hoped Brat Prince wasn’t listening to my rambling thoughts. I did not know how to comfort him. Several times, Lestat had to puke out black blood. It exhausted him so much that he eventually lay down though it made respiring tough.
Now he was on his back, the sound of gasping very loud. He grasped my hand, his baby blue eyes very large and fixated on me. “Sweet child, you look… dashing today. Do not blush… you’re so pretty. It is true, I am not lying.”
“Sheez.” I sponged up the blood sweat on his brow. “Um are you thirsty? Want some water?”
Yea, wine. Cannot? Ok then. Merci. I filled with the flask. The vampire slowly got up, holding the cup with both his shaking hands. He was soaked through like he had been swimming. I asked Juno to come and get him a new set. When Lestat was settled again, he asked me why my people insisted on propriety.
“It’s just the rules. You must wear clothes. If you were not hurt, my friends would be really angry seeing you naked. Seriously.” He nodded.
“Pretty… hey when are you going home? Don’t let me keep you back ok? New jacket?” Lestat perked up again, feeling my clothes. It was a soft brown jacket, with my discarded feathers sewn in as down. It was chilly outside now that it was close to winter. On Freemandling there is no snow but the weather changes into icy cold during October. “Mortals get cold easily. Your mother made this? It’s lovely. Is it warm enough? If not, you should cover more layers, Krys.”
I smiled. He’s so gentle and so concerned. Such compassion. I assured him. “I want to stay here with you, Lestat. You will be lonely.”
I like the material. So nice! I am not lonely when you are here. As long as you have told your parents, sure you’re welcome to stay. I wish I could host you. He stopped and threw up for the sixth time. I felt the cold in him. Quickly the nurse wrapped him in another blanket. Lestat trembled from weakness and seemed about to pass out. I wanted to cry but I held back. What if he worried? It was bad for his health.
Bianca… when I’m not here, take care… of Louis. He’s such an … idiot sometimes… do you know that… my beloved … won’t feed because he wants to … be humane… our kind… he’s the weakest. How can he abstain?
Lestat, you will be alright. Stay with us------------ don’t die. Please. My heart is breaking. Louis wants to see you. You must hang on until he comes! I cried, wet dripping off my face. My vision blurred. Omaga asked Lestat to drink a concoction. The Bitter root which was used for temporary nausea relief. He slept for a bit. I could still hear his thoughts vaguely. No, I shouldn’t Read his mind.
We conversed writing notes. Omaga, master, tell me the truth. Will Lestat get better or worse? What of the antidote?
I’m sorry Krystal. Vampires usually do not burn up so fast. I fear for his health in the long term if this continues. We can delay the process of decay, and already he starts to heal. That is the good part.
What is the bad?
No antidote. Goddesses! It must be Aphrodite’s jealousy that’s scheming failure.
Let him take mine! I am human! He will heal then, right? I don’t mind. Master was mad at this. He just kept from screaming.
“No! I cannot allow you to do this! Shapers do not give blood to anyone! It is against the law! Let me think this over.”
Then the Owl switched to pen, not wanting to disturb the silence. Be brave for your friend. He needs your strength. It will not help if you panic as well. Lestat told me he wants to try and be good. Therefore, you can assist by not entertaining such thoughts. Control your emotions. Remember the wisdom of Artemis. She hears you. Lestat cried out, not able to breathe again. I did not go back in as he asked but steeled myself. I could help by being strong. Maybe my other friend could help me.
After all he owed his life and swore that I would be in his debt.
The hills located west of Lestat’s mansion. When I was thirteen several years ago, I had helped a lamia vampire, a prince of the lands Beyond. He had been fedup and run away from his kingdom. Inexperienced and alone he had almost been burnt by the light. I had helped to shade him until his people came and rescued him. The mountains were especially penetrating to the bone. Damnit!
Prince Dera! Prince, I need your help. And advice! There was no option left because I could not shout in this weather, no one would hear. I had to remain as a hawk to keep warm, fluffed myself up when it got worse. The blizzard blew into my eyes.
A flash. He was before me, all in black cloak. A circlet of brass sat on his dark short hair. Unlike my friends, the lamia’s hair stayed cut for at least a month. He was fineboned and paler than whiteness itself. About fifteen, he was a recent lamia born from Queen Akintos. Their clan stayed here, inaccessible to the Hunters. Something like the 660th clan of the many blood drinkers who could have children.
What is it? Shock emanated when I recounted to him.
Again? How dare she persecute our kind! Did your people hunt her down? I have heard of the famous Lioncourt. He’s a rebel prince.
I asked him to hurry. He could hypnotize some humans for Lestat to feed. As we descended the hills, it was much easier to breathe and speak. I flew low above him. Dera sprinted easily. While looking for people to hunt, Dera asked me about my boyfriend.
Dera told me some stuff about lamia that Lestat had not known. Wrong timing, but it kept me from fretting like crazy. I listened with interest. Apparently they didn’t just live in Transylvania. They are spread out all over, Romania, Hungary and many ancient civilizations. Unfortunately they could be staked and feared crosses which is why they lived in communities for protection and isolated from humans.
“I am impressed! You mean Lestat won’t die by stake? Or crosses? That’s something we need alright. I’m sorry it happened to him. He’s something of a National Hero. Are you sure you both are not—“
“No!” I surprised myself shouting. I panted, continuing to lead the way to the mansion. Just a few more metres, up the stairs and onto Delacon Street. “Not lovers! He’s experienced, I just respect him. Like a brother.”
Dera sniggered. Plainly he didn’t believe me at all. Duh. The eight mortals were all walking in a disciplined row, like zombies. I transformed back and pushed open the door. Avro was just chatting with my friend, who was sitting up and drank from a bowl.
“Hi. Um, who is that?” Lestat’s sharp eyes flicked to my companion, everything in black and a little ruffed by the wind. Dera regarded him in princely fashion.
“This is Prince Dera. Lestat,” I made intro, but I could see they were already both acquainting, lamia vs Made vamps. Sizing each other up like prowling cats. They shut off the mental bond to me for a while and looked into each other’s eyes. A lot going on. No way would Lestat lie down and show his tummy, he was gonna be on high alert. I crossed the room and sat beside him.
Lestat blinked, and both of them came out of the trance. “You brought me dinner, your highness? Merci.” Dera bowed languidly, not a hair out of place. I sensed the hostility and tension wore off already and both of them were civil and polite gentlemen. I had missed out. Lestat’s pupils slitted, he looked bestial now. I backed away.
In went the mortals. We waited. Disgusting, but not to worry. Prince said he would send some people to clear out the corpses later. “Can he not drain them?”
“Negative Bianca. He will likely drain them dry given his severely poisoned system. All the supply he will need.” Fang teeth exposed as the royal Highness chuckled. I nodded. “Are you not scared of me?”
“I see it often. With Lestat, who’s better disciplined than you,” I wanted to show off my date.
“You’re in love!” I scowled, much to his amusement. The door opened. Lestat smiled, much stronger now, the fresh scent lingering on him. I ignored the bodies and hugged him.
“Hawk, beloved, you like him? He seems very nice.” I reddened and covered my cheeks. Both the guys shared a laugh at my expense. Lestat better!
Don’t! Please! I treat you both as friends…. The truth.. I had some crush on Dera. But a long time ago. I adjusted the blankets about the patient. Lestat motioned for us to speak of that time. He listened drowsily. He didn’t ask questions and we spoke softly.
Not love?-------Lestat enquired, almost impatiently. Admit it.
Nada. I don’t feel that, anymore. I was silly then. Dera left. I called home and told them I was back here and not dying of cold. Of course had to tolerate the motherly nagging and worry I got.
“Is it ok? To stay here?” The Frenchman asked softly. It was sad, he exclaimed, he cheered, he hollered, but not soft. He raised his hand, which was all tubed with wires. The blisters on his cheek and throat. I did not look there.
“Yes I can. My family send their regards.” This coaxed a boyish grin on his rosy lips. “We pray. Do you go to church? Will you be harmed?”
“No, that’s pure rubbish. It’s good for the soul. I sleep in them at times. I like to kiss you, touch you. In case I can’t… I should not say that. I should be fine. I survived plenty of adventures that’d have killed an ordinary vampire.” But he did not sound confident. A mirthless chuckle. I tangled my fingers in his curly hair and he fingered my jacket material.
“You’re a heroic material. No problem for you.”
He smiled. Popped in a thought that I should consider wearing a bikini. He showed me an image of a beautiful girl dancing half naked from some ad. “Hey! You’re a pervert.” He shook his head and kissed me once on the lips. I touched the spot. Breathless.
“Would you? Please?” he begged. I said I would think it over. Lestat drifted off every now and then, but awoke when I was about to move. He begged me to stay. I wanted to read a story but he said his head hurt. Not quite lucid when the temperature rose, the vampire desperately murmured in French. I listened to the husky voice almost in a singsong fashion. He only sang to me twice, but I can tell he has the caliber. “Your voice is cool. Like an angel.”
“Many people have said that.”
My phone vibrated. Unfamiliar number. “Hello?” I spoke.
A shy laughter. “This is Louis. I was afraid you didn’t switch it on… I got your number after looking through my diary. Luckily I wrote it down. Marius is on the way. Is Lestat ok?”
“Yea.” Lestat made a gesture, talk for him, he was too tired. “How are you, cherie? Come soon, I miss you.”
Louis thickly said he missed him too. “Tell him to be strong, Bianca. Keep safe and try to rest. My flight is tonight. I should be able to reach there tomorrow.” I was about to hang up but Lestat caught my hand.
“You shouldn’t talk- ok ok, here. Not too long.”
After hanging up, the patient examined my mobile phone curiously. Blue with green lighted buttons. He was fascinated by the flashing. Why is it blinking? Alive.
An sms. Bianca, r u ok? Pls call when u r coming home. Daniel bratford.
I smsed back I would, as soon as Lestat went to sleep. He had forgotten what he had said earlier about me going home and not bothering . I was terrified when he refused to release me. My bladder was full now. He was threshing in agony and hyperventilating. “Lestat! Let me go now! Avro! Come!” The eagles pried him loose and knocked him out with drugs.
I ran for the toilet and emptied myself. Phew! I called Mom to update. She was sorry I was affected so badly. “Child these are professional healers. They will cure him, if not reduce the suffering. I want to make himsomething. He’s not feeding on you right?”
“No. We got him… food.” Human food but not necessary to mention.
Lestat was turned to the side when I re entered the room. “Bianca, apologies. Are you hurt? I was so feverish. Come. Are you ok?” He watched me worriedly.
“I’m alright. Guess what? Mom wants to visit you.”
Really? No problem. But it will be in the light, I am not human.
They already know-------- I said. He expressed surprise. Your blood in my house…
If she does not freak out, I do not mind. Next was the soup, she wanted to bring some soup for my friend. She always does things like that. That will be nice. I can drink. Yay!
He asked me why I was not so scared now. He had almost broken my hand. I could not fear. I guess because my love for his company is so immense it covered all the fears. He lay back waiting. Mom arrived in fifteen minutes.
“Mrs Bratford. Thank you,” he husked, letting her prop him up and feed him. It was red bean soup, good for circulation of blood. She had also mixed some chicken in as nutrition. I recognized the smell. Mom then said something which sealed the rift between our people for eternity. I knew then, that she approved and so did Omaga. She said I wanted to stay because I had sensed a bad omen. The wrong stuff was she thought Lestat was really my stead! We exchanged meaningful glances.
“Both of you match. How old are you, boy?” Mum asked out of curiosity. “What do you like?”
“Twenty. I like going for parties, music, and watching movies. Bianca likes the same movies I like.” Lestat! Twenty! More like 200 plus years old. He was like, no I cannot. She will get heart attack!
It was helpless, I couldn’t stop laughing. They looked at me in concern.
“Is it funny, Krystal?” Mom informed.
“I love her very much. She’s so generous and special, lends me support when I need her most. Like right now, when you could be sleeping. You’re lucky to be her mother.”
We of the Bratford’s lineage giggled. Mom felt his forehead. “Normally you should not feel so warm. Come lie down boy, don’t sit up too much.” Lestat said he felt too full of soup. He willingly talked to her about his life, and how he was doing as a rockstar before he got banned.
I lay down on the armchair and watched as she weaved her own spell about my boyfriend. Ok, I call him boyfriend, but as in male friend. Close male friend. Be calm, Lestat. Try to get some sleep. Call us if you hurt anywhere ok?
M’dm, you’re a hypnotist too? Cool.------- he laughed. Then opened the way for three way communication. His thoughts flowed in: we both like Interview with the vampire right, Bianca? We met at the screening.
I played along. So Brat Prince was gonna be positive and inject some humor in this dreariness. We talked and Lestat slept a little until 8am. “Remember, keep warm, no cool and don’t get up.”
We bid him goodbye, pleased that the patient seemed in a better condition than previously.
The evening after, I talked to Lestat on the phone. Tonight Louis was returning. “You’d better go and fetch him. He’s poor at spatiality. I’m ok now.” I took a cab, hurrying him along. Shit shit shit! He should have reached already. Why didn’t I calculate the time?
Yep, pronto, my friend was in the guest lounge, holding a coat on his right arm, his hair tied back. I almost missed him because he had his back to me and because I smell rather than scan minds, I didn’t detect him on first try. He smelled weird. “Hey, it’s me!” I caught his arm.
Louis jumped. “Thank you. I was wondering how to call you, seeing I do not have a mobile. Marius will usually lead.”
“Where is he? Isn’t he coming?” I tensed, feeling very frantic again. It was the fifth day! Sure, the eagles had started the healing process again, but they were so drained.
“I don’t know. Something may have cropped up.” We began to walk to the exit. A man passed us by dragging a luggage in the shape of….. My coffin. I didn’t want it to be destroyed so I brought it along.
Oh. He had purchased it in Europe where he had been staying for a while. Before coming, Louis also asked a chemist to inject him with a rejuvenation needle so that he would not collapse. “I almost swooned when you told me the news of poor Lestat. I needed it.”
“So your scent is blocked.”
“Um hm, also to reduce mortals detecting my unusual features.” We laughed. I assured him that the blond was alright. He was so eager to see him! “What kind of poison? Is it absinthe or laudanum?”
I shook my head. Neither. “Metallia. Some kind of radioactive substance that slowly kills. Oh Louis, if only I could Do something. I…” The emerald eyes filled with gentleness as he held me by my shoulders. You already have. Come, be cheerful, for my love is waiting.
We switched to a positive mood when we came into Monsieur de Lioncourt’s house at 11pm. Usually filled with piano music or the life of his vitality it was now full of strangers. They greeted us. Louis frowned. My friend lay sleeping, many tubes hooked up to his arm. He was propped up due to difficulty in respiration. “He won’t take the oxygen mask. Lestat, please.” Now he was too tired to resist as they pulled it over his face. Louis knelt by his side and hugged him.
Lestat stroked his hair. I stood aside. They needed time together.